By Brook Bhagat
The woman has the consciousness of a woman and the unconscious of a man, and the man has the consciousness of a man and the unconscious of a woman… but both are both. ~Osho
Regardless of whether our physical bodies are male or female, we all have both divine feminine and divine masculine energies swirling around inside of us-- yin and yang, shiva and shakti. Divine masculine energy manifests itself as your giving, doing, logic, concrete knowledge, individuality, ambition, exploration, domination and duality. The sacred feminine, on the other hand, emerges as your receptivity, creativity, love, intuition, forgiveness, harmony, death and rebirth, healing and wholeness.
Along with women themselves, the sacred feminine has been suppressed, degraded and devalued. Historically, the oldest human notions of the divine, almost without exception, depict god as a woman, and, very broadly speaking, the earth as our Mother. Since human women are seen to create life, it is a natural step to suppose that a larger woman-- a divine woman, a goddess-- must have set the wheel in motion, and the metaphor that the earth nourishes our existence as a mother nourishes her child is also a natural one. Being vessels of creation itself, women’s divine power was obvious; the first priests were priestesses and the first medicine men were medicine women.
Yet, with a few notable exceptions, especially in India, these goddesses and goddess-oriented traditions have been systematically vilified in many, if not most, cultures over the past thousand years. Most popular religions contain in their scriptures stories about how their masculine heroes and saints were tempted by evil women or goddesses, and the heroes prevailed for the good of all; the Crusades were fought and the witches were burned. It is no coincidence that, as these goddesses were dethroned-- if not worse-- and replaced with masculine deities, the status, power and freedom of human women was reduced accordingly, and in some cases, nearly destroyed altogether. Women were no longer priestesses and shamans-- rather, they were often told that paradise itself was closed to them, and their only hope was to be virtuous enough to be born as a man in the next life, or serve their husbands dutifully enough to enter Heaven by association, like dogs slipping through the gate behind their masters.
As goddess traditions were cast into the shadows and called superstitions or outright evil, so were the qualities they represented: especially in Western and other individualistic cultures, love became less important than ambition, intuition less important than logic, and the accumulation of goods more important than family or creativity. This is why boys are told that there is something wrong with being a dancer or a poet-- it’s “too feminine”-- and girls were told that there was no real reason for them to go to school, since all they really needed to know was how to cook, clean and raise children. These cultures dictated and enforced the idea that only women should embody feminine qualities, and only men should embody the masculine ones. This is no less than a crime against humanity, creating men who wanted to be artists, but became soldiers instead, and women who wanted to become scientists, but became homemakers instead. Imagine, for a moment, the personal pain of that, if you aren’t living it already… Imagine the depth of that loss to the whole world-- musicians living as accountants, mathematicians living as secretaries… and now multiply it, not by millions, over the centuries, but billions, billions of human beings who were not allowed to follow their inner voices, their longing, the paths to their true flowering.
The devaluation of the sacred feminine and the idolization of the divine masculine have resulted on a larger scale in a global system of interlinking parts that reward competition, destruction, and war. We live in an age of technology without wisdom and wealth without love. Our Mother earth has been raped and ravaged almost beyond redemption—to the point, finally, that our food, water, air and hence our very existence hangs in the balance, perilously close to the point of no return.
Do you know where this is headed? Did you feel the call to action, there in the emptiness, in the space between paragraphs? Do you feel a certain rage when you read that tigers may be extinct within decades, or when you are told it’s not safe for children to catch raindrops on their tongues anymore, or when you see pictures of starving children and war orphans? If not, why not? This is our world. This is my world, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to see it destroyed right under my nose.
There is a movement happening, an awakening rumbling beneath the cities and the forests and the oceans. It is the call of the Goddess-- the call for balance and for justice. It is a call to get our priorities straight, with Life itself as the ultimate and highest value on earth. It is a call to bring back the divine feminine, and if you are still reading this, you have most likely heard it, felt it, or screamed it out yourself, in one way or another. The sacred feminine can and must be restored to its rightful place, in harmony and balance with the divine masculine-- on our planet, in our culture, and within ourselves.
But what does this mean? Take to the streets? Sometimes. Question everything we’ve been taught? Absolutely. We need to bring a new awareness and responsibility to every aspect of our lives—how we work, how we play, how we eat, and how we think. We need to stop imagining that we are separate from the earth, and from each other. The goddess is alive and well, dancing in your every heartbeat, singing in your every breath. In your silence, you know Her. You have always known Her. You know what you have to do, and you know how to do it. If we hope to heal our own wounds, our lives, and our world, we can’t postpone for another year, another half-hour sitcom or another moment—we have to stand up, and we have to do it now; the time has come to heed the call of the Goddess.
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